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Mantecans make splash at Junior Olympics
Tiger Aquatics swimmers from Manteca who competed in the Pacific Swimming Junior Olympics July 7-10 were Julia DeGroot (back row, far left), Austin McDonell (back row, fourth from left), and Miranda McDonnell (back row, second from right) and Maverick Lin (not pictured). - photo by Photo Contributed

Four Mantecans representing Tiger Aquatics competed in the Adam Szmidt Memorial Pacific Swimming Junior Olympics Championships July 7-10.

Julia DeGroot and Austin McDonnell played a part in the Stockton-based swim program’s 19th-place finish at Independence High School in San Jose. Santa Clara Swim Club topped the field of over 100 teams with 917.5 points. Tiger Aquatics posted 101 points.

DeGroot and McDonnell did their damage in the distance events, and they each placed 17th in the individual point standings of their respective age divisions.

DeGroot — an East Union senior and the Bulletin’s 2011 Female Girls Swimmer of the Year — won the 17-18-year-old girls 1,500-yard freestyle in 19 minutes, 45.45 seconds and was sixth in the 800 free in the 10:14.25. She also qualified for the 400 individual medley final, finishing eighth in 6:05.01. In the prelims, DeGroot posted the seventh fastest time in 5:45.07.

McDonnell left his mark in the 15-16 boys division. He claimed the 800 freestyle in exciting fashion, as he out-touched Sky Calleja-Harris of Santa Clara Swim Club with a time of 9:20.34 — 0.02 faster than the runner-up.

In the 1,500 free final, McDonnell, a standout for St. Mary’s High’s swim program, took sixth (10:14.25).

Fellow Mantecans Miranda McDonnell, Austin’s younger sister, and Maverick Lin were also among the 17 Tiger Aquatics competitors at the Junior Olympics.

Miranda competed in seven events in the 13-14 girls division. Her best finish was 17th out of 42 in the 100 backstroke. She was also 20th in the 400 IM, 29th in the 200 back and 30th in the 100 fly.

Lin came in 48th place in the 11-12 boys 50 free.

The top all-around performers for Tiger Aquatics were Taylor Hosmer and Riley Smith. Hosmer was the fifth top points producer in 13-14 girls, while Smith was fourth best in 17-18 girls.